Gleaves Whitney

Gleaves Whitney, a writer, lecturer, and historian, was named the first permanent Senior Fellow of the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in 1995.

Currently Mr. Whitney is director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University in southwestern Michigan. Before his appointment to the Hauenstein Center, he was senior speechwriter and historian for Michigan Governor John Engler. He is also a Senior Scholar at the Center for the American Idea in Houston.

A graduate of Colorado State University, where he was a Fulbright Scholar, Mr. Whitney has done graduate work at the Universität Konstanz (Germany), the University of Oxford, and the University of Michigan.

In 1993 he served on Governor Engler’s task force on education, whose work led to the enactment of far-reaching reforms that the New York Times called “the most dramatic in the nation.” In 2001, he helped establish the new Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries. He currently serves on the Michigan Humanities Council and the State Historical Records Advisory Board. In addition to his work in politics and history, he is gaining a reputation as a leading authority on Catholic humanists in the twentieth century.

Mr. Whitney has written, edited, or contributed to several books, including John Engler: The Man, the Leader & the Legacy (2002), American Presidents: Farewell Messages to the Nation (2002), and the revised edition of Russell Kirk’s The American Cause (2003). He is currently writing a companion volume to Dr. Kirk’s The Roots of American Order, on which he frequently lectures, as well as a book on the historian Christopher Dawson. His op-ed pieces have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Detroit News, The New York Times, National Review, the Christian Science Monitor, Policy Review, Imprimis, and many others.

Photo courtesy of the Hauenstein Center.

A spirit of innovation is generally the result of a selfish temper and confined views. People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.

Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France

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Highlights

A Biographical Interview with Russell Kirk

Sally WrightWe have just posted an extensive biographical interview of Russell Kirk, conducted in 1989 by Sally Wright (whose novels were reviewed recently in the University Bookman). In “Russell Kirk: Reflections on a Vagrant Career,” Wright captured Kirk’s perspectives on his life, personality, conversion, opinions, and much more. The piece is a good introduction to Kirk for the new reader, and will also have much to interest those familiar with Kirk and his writings.

Dec 2017

Latest Newsletter

Newsletter coverThe new Permanent Things Newsletter is now available, featuring reports from a gathering of the John Adams Society of Harvard, highlights on recent Kirk Center Fellows, and a conference on the moral imagination in Kirk, Bradbury, Eliot, and others. We are also announcing an upcoming event for attorneys, and preparing for the Kirk Centenary in 2018.

Dec 2017

Announcing Kirk on Campus

We are pleased to announce a web presence for Kirk on Campus, our new project that celebrates and defends the permanent things at America’s colleges and universities. As a unique source of cultural conservative thought, Kirk on Campus fills a critical niche in the national conversation. The program will bring scholars unashamed but not uncritical of the great legacy of America and the West to schools across Michigan and its neighboring region. In doing so it will help contribute to a greater variety of thought and informed opinion, as well as to cultivate much-need civilized discourse.

Nov 2017